The EU is nearing an impasse that risks jeopardizing the future of investigative journalism. Sweden is looking on, saying nothing, in the belief that the new regulations proposed by the EU will not impose any direct limitations on Sweden, specifically. It is a naive assumption. If the proposal is adopted, it will affect the ability of Swedish journalists and media companies to pursue free and investigative journalism in equal measure, says seven representatives of the Swedish media in a joint debate piece.
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Today, November 2nd, is a day of international recognition that it is still possible to enjoy impunity for a crime against democracy, which is what murdering a journalist implies. The UN has proclaimed today the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists”.
It has to stop now. Those who threaten, injure and kill journalists must be prosecuted and punished, says Cilla Benkö, Director General of Swedish Radio.
- SEMINAR IN ALMEDALEN
PODCAST ABOUT PODCASTING. Swedish Radio’s seminar in Almedalen on Tuesday 30 June about the popularity of podcast radio all over the world. What happens when the journalistic filter disappears?
One of the main speakers at the seminar is presenter and founder of the success 99% Invisible, Roman Mars.
Monday 9 February Cilla Benkö, Director General of Swedish Radio, was invited by the Swedish and Latvian foreign ministries to speak at an evening for freedom of the press, free formation of opinion and good working conditions for journalists in Brussels.
Here is Cilla Benkö's speech about Swedish Radio's murdered foreign correspondent Nils Horner and the importance of having journalists who can work without risking being silenced in a democratic world.
- PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE - DECEMBER 1st 2014. Today, Monday, the Swedish government’s digital radio coordinator, Nina Wormbs, handed over her study into the transition from FM to Digital Audio Broadcasting to the minister for culture and democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke.
“It’s high time politicians make a final decision on this. The radio industry is united in agreeing that terrestrial radio must be digitized,” Swedish Radio’s director general, Cilla Benkö, says.
Nils Horner, one of Sweden's most well-known and respected foreign correspondents, was shot and killed on assignment on 11th March this year in Kabul, Afghanistan.
He had worked for many years for Swedish Radio which is the media house in Sweden which places the largest effort in Swedish media in covering foreign matters through its network of 21 correspondent all over the world.
Cilla Benkö is Director General of Swedish Radio.
In this Swedish Radio seminar from the traditional Almedalen week of politics on the island of Gotland, Sweden, The Guardian’s deputy editor Paul Johnson talks about work behind the scenes, how his paper got onto the The Snowden case and the sensational disclosure came about – an insider story of political pressure, smashed hard drives and the fight for the freedom of the press. In English.
Three journalists from the Al-Jazeera TV company were last Monday sentenced by an Egyptian Court of Law to between seven and ten years of imprisonment. The three journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were arrested shortly before the end of last year. According to the prosecutor they had spread “false news” concerning the protests in Egypt last summer.
The sentencing of the TV-journalists is a scandal of justice, says three Swedish media executives – Cilla Benkö, director general Swedish Radio, Thomas Mattsson, Editor in Chief,
Expressen and Peter Wolodarski, Editor in Chief Dagens Nyheter – in a joint statement.
Swedish Radio is redesigning its home page - again. This time to strengthen its radio profile and inspire more people to mobile listening, both to the news and other shows. Today, the mobile is our most important digital platform, explains Swedish Radio's programming division.
Press subsidy proposals today. The significance of both a strong Swedish Radio and a strong local press for Swedish democracy cannot be overestimated. Together, they provide a diversity of perspective that risks being weakened if politicians do not realize the gravity of the situation and find a system that guarantees quality journalism, writes Cilla Benkö, Director General of the Swedish Radio.
MEDIA POLITICS/PUBLIC SERVICE. The government's proposal for new guidelines for public service presented a series of clear messages: the importance of public service, the importance of independence, stable finances, and public service's presence across different platforms. But there are several areas where we still await news of the government's intentions - not least the future of digital radio, says Swedish Radio Director General Cilla Benkö.
Think of the big things that happen in the world and how you know about them. Stockholm riots, National Security Agency surveillance, the Syrian war. Then think about three small things you need to know: football club fixtures, kids exam results, a good restaurant to eat tonight. It's clear that there's huge demand for media that gives us useful, timely, reliable and important news, data and opinion. So why is there a crisis for those whose job it is to deliver it?
Charlie Beckett, director of Polis – the journalism think-tank at the London School of Economics, will participate in two of Swedish Radio's seminars on journalism at the Almedalen week of politics on the Baltic island of Gotland, Sweden in July. Here are some of his thoughts on the future of journalism that he will continue to debate in Almedalen.
The Government Bill Culture and Accessibility – Public Radio and Television 2014-2019 (Prop. 2012/13:164) contains the Swedish Government proposals for conditions and guidelines for Sveriges Radio AB ( SR), Sveriges Television AB (SVT) and Sveriges Utbildningsradio AB (UR) for the charter period 2014- 2019.
The overall guidelines are: A media market with many free and independent entities, clear rules, and healthy competition provides proper conditions for the free formation of opinions, the free exchange of ideas, and practical opportunities to monitor those in power. A significant task for media policy is to create proper conditions for these entities to establish themselves and develop on the media market. Ensuring a varied offering in the field of media also requires strong, independent public radio and television with a clear mission – to offer a broad programming selection accessible to all, that reflects diversity across the country and which is characterised by good quality, comprehensiveness, and relevance.
A hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute, 400 million tweets are posted daily. Many of those people posting to social networks are making – or breaking – news. Those that used to sit back and observe are now contributing directly to the journalism we produce every single day.
Fergus Bell, Social Media and UGC Editor international at the AP writes about the important questions that need to be raised and discussed when working journalistic with material shared by the public, if you want to do this successfully.
Social media is challenging traditional journalism. The journalist is no longer on high addressing a passive audience. That is the way it was to a great extent, but that time will soon be over. We won't, however, end up at the other extreme, described by the US media theorist Clay Shirky, among others. In his book Here comes everybody Shirky painted the picture of everyone speaking with everyone. Everyone would become journalists.
Three years ago, we described a synthesis of the established and the new in our interactive book "Journalism 3.0 - Media Ecology". We called that synthesis Journalism 3.0. It's time to check back in. Swedish Radio CEO Cilla Benkö and her predecessor Mats Svegfors share their views on what has happened since they launched the interactive book, the discussion forum it provided, and the term Journalism 3.0.
- SOCIAL MEDIA
SOCIAL MEDIA. Swedish Radio is taking aim at the future with social media as a key component to Journalism 3.0. Developments in this field are rapid and many traditionally educated journalists will need to learn the new tricks of trade.
A social media handbook has therefore been written by a working group within Swedish Radio, led by interactivity and social media project manager Christian Gillinger who shares some of the underlying ideas below.
- PUBLIC SERVICE
PUBLIC SERVICE. New broadcasting licences for the Swedish public service broadcasters Sveriges Television, Sveriges Radio and Utbildningsradion are to be decided. The Swedish government will first adopt its own position and is expected to submit a proposal to parliament in May. Parliament will then decide on the issue in the autumn.
The debate about net hatred flares up at regular intervals but gained momentum recently when several prominent female media personalities decided to talk openly about receiving hateful comments and the threats on Sveriges Television's investigative programme Uppdrag Granskning.
During the summer of 2011, Media Sweden suffered a collective allergic reaction to their online comments fields. Several sites closed them down completely. The reason was "net hatred" and the trigger was the repercussions of Breivik's mass murder in neighbouring Norway. A lot of people at the time decided to write about the net hatred issue, me included.
Swedish Radio's debate site Journalism 3.0 - Media ecology and the future is here republishing a net hatred debate piece by Christian Gillinger, digital media project manager at public service Swedish Radio, which he put up (in Swedish) on his private blog.
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN. The latest Eurobarometer from the European Commission shows that Swedish radio enjoys an extremely high trust rating. Four out of five Swedes say they have confidence in the radio, the highest trust rating of any single medium in any of the EU member countries. Swedish television has 70 percent of citizens' confidence while the press has 43 percent and internet media 30 percent. The average trust rating across Europe for radio clocks in at 54 percent, which means that radio as a medium enjoys the highest confidence.
Mats Svegfors, former head of Swedish Radio (Swedish public service radio) shares his view on the latest figures.
On November 16th, 2010, we published our virtual book Journalism 3.0 - Media Ecology and the Future. We had begun this book project a year before then in the autumn of 2009. Today, our online book and the debate blog is celebrating its second anniversary and we can say that developments that we have tracked in the past year have been dramatic.
Cilla Benkö, director general of Swedish Radio, and Mats Svegfors, former director general of Swedish Radio, take a look back.
After only a few weeks in the job, BBC Director General George Entwistle resigned on Saturday. On Monday, the organisation’s director of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy Stephen Mitchell followed suit. These developments follow two noteworthy editorial decisions in the production of BBC2’s Newsnight.
Mats Svegfors, former Director General of Swedish Radio, gives his view on the events and argues that they are significant also from a Swedish media perspective.
What are the threats to investigative journalism? How can we maintain quality and credibility in journalism? Listen to a seminar from Almedalen - the week of politics on the island of Gotland, Sweden, July 5th.
With: Nick Davies, journalist at The Guardian, Cilla Benkö deputy director general of Swedish Radio, Martin Jönsson, managing editor at Svenska Dagbladet. Moderator: Helena Groll, journalist at Swedish Radio.
Update: As a result of Nick Davies' statements about Julian Assange in the seminar, Swedish Radio is now trying to reach Assange in order to give him a chance to respond.
It has often been said that what is happening to the newspaper industry has been caused by public service media. Some claim that our activities online have harmed commercial media; that we have made it impossible for newspapers to regain from the net what they have lost in print. Some also claim that if the activities of public service media online were to be limited then the newspapers would no longer have such difficulties. But this is obviously not true. What is happening is a far reaching change of the media society.
Mats Svegfors, Director General of Swedish Radio, spoke about medias important role in the democratic society at the Eurodig conference in Stockholm.
Free press is relatively hard to find these days and hard-hitting journalism is generally challenged by censorship. However, there is a concealed obstacle ahead of free press that is self-censorship caused by, one of the professional norms for journalists, “objectivity”.
This says Afrah Nasser, blogger and journalist in exile from Jemen. At the moment she is an intern at the arabic section of Swedish Radio International. This is the story about her meeting with swedish public service and the journalistic rules about objectivity and impartiality.
- PUBLIC SERVICE
PUBLIC SERVICE. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has over 85 national media organizations as members from 56 countries in and around Europe. It has represented and served its Members for more than 60 years and promotes the values and distinctiveness of public service media in Europe and around the world. As President of the EBU, I am proud of our Union and it's history and within that context I am especially appreciative of the strong public service media tradition that has existed in the Nordic countries and in Sweden in particular.
Jean-Paul Philippot is in Stockholm this week for Radio Assembly and wants to bring attention to the increasing threats against public service in Europe.